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The House of the Wicked (a psychological thriller combining mystery, murder, crime and suspense) [Kindle Edition]

D. M. Mitchell
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (77 customer reviews)

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Book Description

With nearly a quarter of a million downloads so far, and an acknowledged individual storytelling expertise that has seen Hollywood recently take an interest in one of his novels, D. M. Mitchell pens yet another taut psychological thriller with a difference that twists and turns to its deliciously devious and unexpected conclusion. Discover for yourself why D. M. Mitchell is being hailed as one of the most exciting new writers of thriller and supernatural tales in the UK.

From reviews of The House of the Wicked:

'Impossible to put down...'
"Superb prose, and an atmosphere of impending doom. A quality novel from a very promising author."
"This book has had me in its spell for the past three days. It is fantastically written, full of twists and turns"
"I'm a lover of the classics and this was as well written and very dark, loved it"
"I felt like I'd lived in Porthgarrow and knew all the people. It was captivating and I just didn't want it to end."
"Please tell me this author has more books and is actively writing another!"
"Rev Biddle would make a great detective series in his own right."
"I was kept in suspense until the very end. The characters were believable and very well written. Really hated for the book to end"
"An excellent dark suspense novel."

“If you are not of a squeamish disposition, Mr Denning, I should like you to look at my collected images of the dead...”

1880: Stephen Denning is an artist arriving in Porthgarrow. It is an isolated Cornish fishing community, largely untouched by the modern, developing Victorian world, hanging onto its old traditions, superstitions and beliefs – a community that lives with a disturbing secret. So too does Denning.

He is a reluctant visitor, and though he is supposedly joining his one-time artist friend Terrance Wilkinson to form an artists’ colony it is circumstances that force him there. Denning is still haunted by the brutal death of a young woman in Brittany, and shouldering guilt for the fact that he covered up for Wilkinson when he suspects the man of having been been involved with the murder.

But Porthgarrow is haunted by its own demons and secrets. He learns about the savage murder of a woman by her husband Jowan Connoch thirteen years previously, and of Jowan’s son who has returned to Porthgarrow to uncover the truth and to clear his father’s name.

Yet it is far from over. Before long three more people are destined to die in Porthgarrow before the village gives up its sinister secrets, and Stephen Denning will learn of his own family’s mysterious involvement.

The house of the Wicked is peopled with larger than life characters – the powerful businessman Gerran Hendra and his beautiful daughter Jenna; the Reverend Biddle who collects photographs of the dead; Benjamin Croker, the journalist; and Tunny, the village wise man and healer.

From its atmospheric Gothic undertones to its shocking and unexpected end, ‘The House of the Wicked’ is D. M. Mitchell at his darkest and most imaginative best.

Some secrets will not stay buried...

Product Details

  • File Size: 1929 KB
  • Print Length: 354 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #247,614 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Expect the unexpected May 15, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
I loved this book. The author takes us back to nineteenth century Britain to Porthgarrow, a beautiful Cornish cove ravaged by a raging sea where ancient beliefs and folklore still preside over common sense and reason; where every man, woman and child live in fear of the spirit of Baccan. Denning and his friend, Wilkinson are artists; both great characters. We follow them through a superbly written veil of mystery and misadventure. Mitchell's descriptions are so vivid and colourful he really brings his characters and surroundings to life. The twists and turns are completely unexpected and by the time I got half way through the book I felt like I'd lived in Porthgarrow and knew all the people. It was captivating and I just didn't want it to end. Now I HAVE to buy `Max'!
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Different Type of Read April 19, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book went on and on with the descriptions! The writer gets an 'A' for setting the stage and being descriptive enough to help you imagine you're seeing the surroundings while the story unfolds, but after a while it became too much and I just wanted the book to be done.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The house of the wicked December 13, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I found this slow going for the first 25 or so pages but I'm glad I stayed with it. Lots of discription which is an intelligent change from the books I've read that are full of fluff dialogue. There are many twists and turns in the plot that are sometimes a stretch but the good characters pull it off. It was interesting how people believed the legend and rumor rather than the truth. Unfortunately this is often so true in the real world. It was an interesting and well put together read. I enjoyed it. Thanks D. M. Mitchell.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars good reading October 7, 2012
By Soozin
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
i really enjoyed this book. great writing, wonderful use of imagination. at times i felt as if i were reading a biogaphy. but, then who would it be about. chock full of interesting characters, with faults, and gifts, and intelligence. the last few chapters had me at the author's mercy. i wanted to find out how this ended. and i was not disappointed.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Page Turner February 15, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I did not want this story to end. The character development was as compelling as the authors use of foreshadowing in this multi-layered psychological mystery. I am thrilled to have found other titles by this author.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another Superb Mind Bender by Mitchell April 7, 2014
By Melinda
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I started with Blackdowne, went on to Flinder's Field, and now it's House of the Wicked. D. M. Mitchell consistently writes masterclass psychological thrillers that shift realities multiple times over the course of each novel. All these novels are excellent, finely plotted stories with devious characters that add up to some of best psychological thrillers available.

Mitchell's characters are never what they appear to be on the surface. You learn after reading his novels to expect the unexpected, especially where innocent looking characters are concerned. They turn out to be wild murderers, or evil incarnate. It is virtually impossible to guess what is coming in a Mitchell story and that along with the intricately crafted plot keeps the pages flying by. The protagonist, Steven Denning is a younger son of a wealthy London family who has taken up painting as a career. His family seems a bit too concerned with his life, but whether this is due to the family reputation or for some other reason is not clear. He meets Wilkenson at art school in France, and they end up having a rather sordid history together.

Years later Wilkenson invites Denning to Cornwall and the city of Porthgarrow to start an artist colony. The city is dominated by a pagan superstition of the God Baccun, who controls the waves, the winds, and the storms. He is said to feed off evil deeds which make him grow stronger. The town is held hostage to a myth regarding a single family.

Mitchell does a masterful job at intertwining the two story arcs of the Dennings, with Steven in the lead role, and Porthgarrow as events drive people in the town to seek the truth behind the myth. These two drive each other forward until reality turns upside down three times.
Read more ›
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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this writer! February 2, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
After reading Max, I was thrilled to find another book by this writer. Wasn't disappointed! Great setting, characters, clever twists, please tell me this author has more books and is actively writing another!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Page Turner July 20, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Searching for a Victorian murder mystery, I stumbled upon Mitchell's The House of the Wicked. It was immensely refreshing to read a story which utilized the English language beyond baseline sight-words. Mitchell's writing placed me there in the era of which the story took place; an era where words were the tools used to paint exacting images of locations, characters, and underlying moods. As I followed the plot from page to page, I was nagged by those thoughts most characters express -- there is something here that I've read which is important, subtly directing me to the truth, though I could not make the connection complete. Hence the "page turner" descriptor, for I was unable to let it go. I stayed up all hours of the night reading the links until they were joined together to complete the circle of the mystery. And once all fell into place, I did not feel ripped off by the author having left out a pertinent detail - for there were hints throughout the tale which guided me back to the underlying feeling that I had been repeatedly given a clue. All of this would become a moot point had the story been boring. It was far from that! Thank you for the mysterious tale. ps perhaps up the level of proof reading.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars I have to agree...not a psychological thriller :/
But it was pretty good other than the *spolier* rather obvious finale. Somehow though, I thought this could have been more.
Published 17 days ago by Mare Moran
5.0 out of 5 stars House of the wicked
It is very interesting especially since I just spent a week in Lancaster,Pennsylvania with my family and grand children. I have a more I depth knowledge of the Amish
Published 28 days ago by Paul
3.0 out of 5 stars Some good twist and turns
Can be a little confusing. Some good twist and turns. Good but not my favorite.
Published 1 month ago by DeeDee
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good storytelling.
I was submerged in the place, the time, and the strange society of Porthgarrow. I really enjoyed this book, but had to take one star for an end that didn't seem to fit. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Rebecca K. Porter
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 star who done it
superb read !
an excellent who done it
I'm proud to say I figured out who did it!
I challenge. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Paula reader
1.0 out of 5 stars I am sad that it is published to draw people in
Did not even bother finishing this book. I am sad that it is published to draw people in. Not something I would look for.
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
1.0 out of 5 stars I like to read
I like to read, but this was torture. I finished it because I kept hoping for something other then the constant description of the landscaping and the weather report. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Shirley Van Horn
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent suspense factor!
Mitchell's books always keep you guessing! This one is no exception. Well crafted and thoughtfully orchestrated, the plot and the characters grow and mature through the climatic... Read more
Published 3 months ago by James Thompson
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Book
This was an interesting book but not as good as some of Mitchell's other stories. I have read most all of his books. He is a great writer of thrillers. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Nowplaylkr
4.0 out of 5 stars House of the wicked
Took me a while to get into this book, bit of a slow start but worth bearing with it. Once the story starts to unfold it really starts to grip you, and the pace picks up, liked the... Read more
Published 4 months ago by lala
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More About the Author

D. M. Mitchell has been compared to Ruth Rendell, Martina Cole, Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Linwood Barclay, Dickens and even the Bronte sisters! This wide array of writing styles is appropriate - though Mitchell is known for his psychological thrillers, he is determined that each of them will be different, so they might be set in different eras, may be straightforward thrillers or have a supernatural or horror twist, and he avoids like the plague the standard and unimaginative serial killer format! You'll find he uses different styles of writing to suit different types of books - it also keeps him from getting bored...

D. M. Mitchell was born into a small mining community in Yorkshire, England. His career advisor said he had two options - go down the mines or become a policeman. Being scared of the dark and never having much meat on his bones, he declined both and in his early years bounced like a pinball from job to job - warehouses, cinema projectionist, market trader, salesman - you get the picture. He sort of made a success of himself and now lives in a money-pit of a cottage in a tiny village in the cream tea heart of the South West of England.

His first remembered attempt at pushing the boundaries of creative writing was during a school lesson at the age of nine. Titled simply 'Rain' his proud masterpiece began with 'It started to rain' then there followed eight pages of nothing but the words 'pitter-patter', concluding with 'and then it stopped'. It was handed over and duly reviewed by his brick wall of a teacher, whose eyebrows flickered up and down ominously, his cheeks flushing bright red, before declaring it total rubbish. He tore it up into ribbons, showered him with his first, and no doubt only tickertape ceremony, and gave him a meaty slap around the head (they could do that sort of thing in 1967). He made him write 'I will not write stupid things for eight pages' for eight pages. Thus he learnt a number of valuable early lessons - the meaning of irony, writing is very subjective, everyone's a critic, and no-one likes a smart-arse.

He persevered, his first novel appearing in 1986 and disappearing into the attic the same year. It's still up there. Many manuscripts later he used to save the piles of rejection slips to paper his bare walls. So the adage is, keep at it, in these times of economic depression you'll soon have the house fully redecorated. Nowadays, writing is the one thing he feels totally comfortable with, except perhaps for a cup of Horlicks on a cold winter's night when the rain goes pitter-patter against the window panes (there it is again...).

Characterisation is an important and noticeable aspect of all Mitchell's novels. It allows him to be whoever he wants to be when he gets fed up of being himself, which is quite often. So too is a sense of mystery and the exploration of the darker side to humanity. There are always strong elements of a complex puzzle to be solved in a D M Mitchell novel, many disparate parts ultimately coming together, tragedy and comedy sitting side by side. As in life, nothing is as it first seems. He takes a keen interest in history, a thread which runs through his writing, whether it's the 1960s or 1970s, as in 'Max' and 'Pressure Cooker', or the Victorian 1880s, as in 'The House of the Wicked'.

His favourite novelists include Barry Unsworth, Thomas Hardy, John Steinbeck and Graham Swift. Top two favourite historical books: Culloden, by John Prebble and The Face of Battle by John Keegan. He also collects first edition novels and takes a keen interest in anything old, tatty and in need of love and restoration. His wife says he needs to get out more.

He has three grown children and also enjoys photography, painting and walking the Blackdown Hills with his wife and an overly excitable Border Terrier - or is that an overly-excitable wife and a Border Terrier... One of the two.

He'd like to thank his growing legion of fans for allowing him to practice being a writer and sharing in his strange and lurid imaginings.

The story 'Rain' has not yet been made available on Kindle...


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